HC Deb 16 July 1902 vol 111 cc441-3

Order for Second Reading read.


said that as he had again a Motion on the Paper with regard to this Bill, he thought he ought to give his reasons for putting it forward. Immunity was asked for in this case from the hulk of the regulations which Parliament had decided to impose on tubular railways in the Metropolis, on the ground that it was a prolongation of an existing railway terminus, indeed that it was the prolongation of Finsbury Park and King's Cross Stations. He felt that the time had come to recognise the gravity of having a hotchpotch of clauses, regulations, routes and management as regarded the underground locomotion of London. This Bill was ostensibly designed to give facilities for the population served by the Great Northern system, but there was no proper interchange of communication, and they had no guarantee that workmen's tickets would be given at through fares. They must insist that Parliament should pass the Second Reading of the Bill with its eyes open. If they authorised a line which created a muddle in the underground system of London, the blame would be put on them and not on the promoters. He appealed to the House to recognise the seriousness of the proposals contained in the Bill, and to see that the interests of workmen using this line were adequately considered.


said he wished to raise a question as to this line, which had reference also to the Bill just considered. If these Bills were passed, there would be a through route from Brompton to Finsbury Park. There was already a Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Act; then there was the Bill considered just now, projecting a line from Piccadilly to Holborn, and that Bill was assented to by the House of Lords on the distinct understanding that it was to be run in connection with this Great Northern and Strand Railway. It was very important that a regulation should be laid down that there should be through fares for this through route, irrespective of how many Bills went to make up the system. At present there were three distinct groups of fares, and the fare for the through journey from Brompton to Finsbury Park might come to 8d. because in the Great Northern and Strand Railway Bill no provision at all for workmen's fares was made, so that it was possible that 1d. a mile might be charged. This was the reason why he had placed an Instruction on the Paper similar to that which he had put down in reference to the Baker-street and Waterloo Railway Bill. He knew that the matter was extremely difficult, and could only be properly discussed upstairs; but he thought the House would agree that these Bills which went to make up a through route should be brought before the notice of one and the same Committee, so that they should not be dealt with in a piecemeal fashion but as an entire system. He hoped that when he moved it the House would agree to the first part of his Instruction.


suggested that the hon. Member should move so much of his Instruction as was in order on each Bill, and by that means draw the attention of the Committee to the question. He hoped, however, the House would have an assurance from the promoters of these lines that there would be no trouble on the score of workmen's fares.

MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

said the point raised by his hon. friend the Member for the Chippenham Division was very important, and he hoped that it met with the sympathy, not only of the House, but also of the Board of Trade. It was most important, when there was a group of railways like this with a through route, that there should be, if possible, a joint consideration of them. Subject to what the Speaker might say, he submitted that it was in order so far to refer to this matter as to say that, if it was beyond the power of Parliament to make these three sets of promoters put their heads together and arrive at some arrangement, then the only way in which they could bring the promoters to their senses would be by voting against the second reading, which no one desired to do.


said that it was obviously beyond the powers of the Committee to compel the promoters of this Bill and the promoters of two other Bills to put their heads together and make an agreement, and therefore an Instruction ordering them to do so was clearly out of order.

MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)

trusted the House would give this particular Bill a Second Reading, and also support the Instruction of the hon. Member for the Chippenham Division. He further hoped that the promoters would obviate the necessity for a division by promptly accepting such an Instruction.

MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)

said he was desired by the promoters of this Bill to say that they would not have the slightest objection to the Instruction, and would be glad that it should pass and be considered by the Committee. One reason why a uniform system of rates had not this session been proposed was that the District Railway, with which these tubular railways had interchanging stations, was hedged about at present by various agreements with neighbouring companies, although not to the extent the hon. Member for Shoreditch had represented; and this railway, which would be worked by electric traction in eighteen months time, would be obliged, in accordance with an undertaking given to Lord Ribbles-dale's Committee, to come for a complete revision of their fares. The probability was that that Company would have one uniform rate over the whole of their railway, and as they would have to subject their rates to the scrutiny of a Committee next session, the promoters of these tubular railways had not thought it necessary to propose now a general unification of rates. But they would be glad to accept the Instruction.

Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Great Northern and Strand Railway Bill [Lords] to insert, so far as practicable, in the Bill provisions to carry out the recommendations as to workmen's trains and fares contained in the Report of the Joint Committee of Session 1901 on Underground Railways. — (Sir John Dickson-Pounder.)